Sunday, September 21, 2014

Installment 3: The Never Ending Painting

"Only after disaster can we be resurrected."
Chuck Palahniuk
Fight Club
#3 "Dissonance Resolved"
Freedom has a way of destroying things. Or at least that's how I felt earlier this week when this painting went through some rough transformations; most notably, the "red version".
"All Hope is Lost"
The red version here is sanded down in preparation for moving forward. I hated this painting so much! I felt all hope was lost for this painting because I had wrecked it beyond repair.
But then I received these kind and inspiring words:
"if you haven't wrecked your painting you aren't pushing hard enough, or risking, or growing. must be doing all of that right now. Your painting practise is just like your life practise and as you let go of control, things will turn to chaos and feel awful for awhile because they are different.....and then something magical happens out of that chaos and you find an opening for yourself to be more free."
It gave me the encouragement to forge ahead; to resolve what was dissonant; to reach for harmony.


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Never Ending Painting

I have stood before more than one abstract painting in my life and thought WTF. I rarely get it. And worse, I don't even know what I'm supposed to BE getting. But hey, have you ever tried to create it? It's a lot harder than it looks. And it's almost impossible create the really good stuff; the kind that makes your pulse quicken, your breath weaken and your heart emotional. There's just something about it that stays with you. I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is quite brilliant at doing just this. She recently set me a new painting challenge. And has it ever been challenging!
For two decades I have been painting representational portraits. I usually know exactly where I am going with a painting. I also have a really bad habit of becoming attached to my paintings; probably because I'm often attached to the subject. My friend Cheryl suggested I work on a project called the "Never Ending Painting" as an exercise in letting go. The idea is to start a painting. Every two weeks, alter it so it looks like a completely new painting. Do this 6 times. It was hard. It was hard to fall in love with parts that I had to let go of. It was hard to work on something I presently hated parts of. Mostly, it was exhausting to be in constant dialogue with a piece.
So far I have created the first two paintings in this process. I know they are not very good. But I'm learning to let go of that and to allow myself to be swept up in the process instead.
#1 The "OMG I love it so much, please don't make me paint over it" painting.
#2 The "Ugh, I'm trying too hard and I suck at this!" painting.
This weekend I plan on painting the third layer. I'll keep you posted.